Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Even in the Christian communities there are people who do not enter "the sheepfold by the gate," that is Jesus, but by other means. They are "climbers" who "seek their own ... and consciously or unconsciously pretend to enter but are thieves and robbers" because they "steal the glory of Jesus, they want their own glory. " These were the words of Pope Francis commenting on the parable of the Good Shepherd at Mass this morning in the chapel Casa Santa Marta, attended by staff from the Holy See Press Office and Vatican Radio engineers.
"They want glory for themselves - he explained - and this is what [Jesus] said to the Pharisees: You seek for each other's approval...'. That's something of a 'commercial' religion, don't you think? I give glory to you and you give glory to me. But these people did not enter through the true gate. The [true] gate is Jesus and those who do not enter by this gate are mistaken. How do I know that Jesus is the true gate? How do I know that this gate is Jesus's gate? It's enough to take the Beatitudes and do what the Beatitudes say. Be humble, poor, gentle, just ... ".
As reported by Vatican Radio, the Pope pointed out that " Jesus is not only the gate, he is also the way, the path to follow on our journey. He said there are many paths that we can follow, some perhaps more advantageous than others in getting ahead, but they are "misleading, they are not real: they are false. The only path is Jesus".
"Some of you may say: 'Father, you're a fundamentalist!'. No, simply put, this is what Jesus said : 'I am the gate', 'I am the path' [He] gives life to us. Simple. It is a beautiful gate, a gate of love, it is a gate that does not deceive, it is not false. It always tells the truth. But with tenderness and love. However, we still have [...] the source of original sin within us, is not it so? We still desire to possess the key to interpreting everything, the key and the power to find our own path, whatever it is, to find our own gate, whatever it is".
"Sometimes - the Pope said - we are tempted to be too much our own bosses and not humble children and servants of the Lord: And this is the temptation to look for other gates or other windows to enter the Kingdom of God. We can only enter by the gate whose name is Jesus. We can only enter by that gate which leads to a path and that path is called Jesus and brings to a life whose name is Jesus. All those who do something else - says the Lord - who try to enter through the window, are 'thieves and robbers'. He is simple, the Lord. His words are not complex: He is simple". And you have to ask for "the grace to always knock on that door." " "Sometimes it's closed: we are sad, we feel desolation, we have problems with knocking, with knocking at that gate. Do not go looking for other gates that seem easier, more comfortable, more at hand. Always the same one: Jesus. Jesus never disappoints, Jesus does not deceive, Jesus is not a thief, not a robber. He gave his life for me: each of us must say this: 'And you who gave your life for me, please, open, that I may enter".
Francis concelebrates Mass with five thousand priests, concluding the Jubilee for Priests. The Good Shepherd who spends himself for his flock without "privatizing his time and" space is dedicated to mission with all his being, excludes no one, is full of joy, "transformed by the mercy that he freely gives”.
On the World day of prayer for vocations, Pope Francis ordained ten young men from diocesan seminaries in Rome, aged 26 to 38, including one from Asia (Azerbaijan). The ritual homily was dotted with sometime scathing impromptu comments. "Do not give homilies that are too intellectual or elaborate; speak in a simply manner,” he said. “A dual life is a bad disease in the Church." Instead, “Be joyful, in the joy of Christ's service, even in the midst of suffering, misunderstanding, and one’s own sins." And “Do not be masters, state clergy, but shepherds of the people of God."